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LeBron, DeShawn and the Travel

Dear David Stern,

Could you kindly cancel all those upcoming Wiz games against teams from Florida and other random Southern outposts, and just have them play Cleveland every game?

I mean, I'm all for schedule integrity, but today's meaningless (for D.C.) Wiz-Cavs game featured a coach ejection, DeShawn Stevenson (in velour or possibly velvet) heckling LeBron James from the bench, the NBA's best player hanging on the rim in frustration, massive fourth-quarter comeback, several last-minute potential game-winning possessions, repeated showings of this "Crybaby" sign on the big screen, (a dramatic Wizards win) and LeBron's lengthy explanation of a crucial travel call against him.

He said it wasn't a travel, and was actually a "crab dribble." He said it's one of his trademark moves, and that it's perfectly legal. Shockingly, at least one official, for at least one moment, disagreed.

More on that in a bit. But first, about that bench heckling from the injured DeShawn? What was he saying?

"Ask him," LeBron said. "I'm not going there this year. I'm not going there this year."

"I don't care," DeShawn said. "It's whatever. I don't like him. I don't like that dude."

"You know, they've got their little feud," Caron Butler, interrupting himself to laugh. "That'll be life, that'll be lifelong, but you know, it was fun just to get the win."

Oh, happy day. And now, Mr. James, the travel?

"We all make mistakes and I think I got the wrong end of the bargain," James said. "I watched it 10 times after the game and it was clearly a good play. So you live with it."

How about the ref's explanation?

Not crab dribbling. (By Nick Wass - AP)

"I don't know what he said I did," James said. "I was trying to get an explanation from him but he ended up running to the other side of the floor. It was a bad call. Like I said, I watched it in the [locker] room. I took a crab dribble, which is a hesitation dribble, and then two steps. Everybody, you all guys can watch it. The bad part about it was I was able to finish at the rim with contact, so it would have been a three-point play. So it's tough."

Hold up, a crab dribble? Wizards?

"I know what a crab dribble is," Antawn Jamison said.

Was that it?

"I don't think it was," Jamison said.

Anyone else have an opinion?

"It's a travel," Butler said. "It was the exact same move two years ago in the playoffs."

So, nothing but confidence when James went through that move?

"I definitely knew he traveled, but I didn't think they were gonna call it," Caron said. "You know, two years ago, looking in hindsight, it was the same thing that happened in the playoffs. And we get that call, who knows what would have happened with everybody healthy. But that was one of them situations in which a great player made a move, good officiation, and they called the call. And I was just like, 'Aw, man. There is a God. There is a God.' "

But seriously, what is a crab dribble? LeBron was asked about his trademark jump stop, which has agonized so many Wiz fans for so many years.

"I mean, it's a play that you don't see in this league much but myself," LeBron explained. "It's one of those plays where you have your trademark play, and that's one of my plays. You know, it kind of looks like a travel because it's slow, and it's kind of like high steps. But it's a one-two, just as flowing fluent as any other one-two in this league. I got the wrong end of it, but I think they need to look at it again and need to understand that that's not a travel.

Not crab dribbling. (By Nick Wass - AP)

"What happens is when you take a crab dribble and you hesitate, that is not one step, because you still basically have a live ball. And then when you go into your one-two that's when the steps get counted. So if you look at the play, I take a crab dribble and find a crease and then I take my one-two. So it's a perfectly legal play, something I've always done and always been successful with."

Hmmmm. Wait, here comes another reporter? With another question about what LeBron saw on the last play.

"What did I see? I seen me going to the hole for a three-point play and I was called for a travel," LeBron said.

"How frustrating was that?" the reporter asked.

"It's frustrating, definitely frustrating," LeBron said. "Me being the competitor I am, how can I sit here and say it's not frustrating? You know, bad call, we all make mistakes, I make mistakes too and you move on. But it's frustrating of course, you work as hard as you do to come back and you made a good move and then you're called for a travel."

Hmmmm. So it's a done deal, I guess. Open and shut. Was not a travel.

"I don't know, I just know what a travel is and what a travel's not," Jamison said. "We've been through this before, there was a couple times we thought he traveled and it wasn't called, but you know, he's a great player, and the referee in my mind made the correct call."

And what of that charge against LeBron, the one that caused Cavs Coach Mike Brown to get tossed?

"There was a lot of questionable calls out there today," LeBron said.

"If he's going to the rim, yeah, you're gonna get run over if you put your body in the way, and it's gonna look bad," said Brown, who thought the defender got there late.

"I saw a charge when they called a charge, I saw a travel when they called a travel, but it was a great game," Caron said.

Dramatic too, no?

"It's got to be dramatic, it's got to be a good movie whenever we play against each other," Caron said. "You've got to have excitement, you've got to have the crowd on their feet the whole last three minutes of the fourth quarter. Everybody enjoyed the show."

"We've played them three years in a row in the playoffs, and we've got history with this team," LeBron said. "No matter the records, it gets to a point where it don't matter what the records is [for] us or the Wizards, it's gonna be a good game, because we've got history. When you've got history against teams, you decide that you want to play hard that day."

Yeah! Agreement! There was drama, right!? Everyone concurs?

"What do you mean drama?" Brown asked. "I'm sorry, I didn't think there was any drama tonight."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 4, 2009; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: LeBron's Travel: The Video


This is a new feeling for wizards fans!

A call going the wizards' way against the cavs?! Unheard of!

Posted by: yukiwith2us | January 4, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

if that's crab dribbling, then he's been doing it pretty much every time up the court since the day he entered the league. Somebody just finally got the cojones to call it traveling, which it is.

You'd think if you're 6'" and 268 lbs. and probably the best athlete in the league, you wouldn't need to crab dribble.

Wait, maybe he means 'crab-dribbling', which is where you've got crabs dribbling out your shorts.

Oh that was low... shame on me.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 4, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

i think caron was laughing the whole way to the locker room that they finally...actually called it

Posted by: trolly_time | January 4, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow Steinberg - 4 days in and you have the city of Washington's greatest day of 2009. Now to just fill in 2 through 11 and you have your list for this year. Woohoo! Wizards rule (even though they can't beat the Cavs when it counts)

Posted by: popopo | January 4, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Crab dribble!! Please

The guy runs to the basket and runs over anything in his way. And if he can't run over you he will walk around you. Deshawn is a bum but Lebron is not that skilled. He's just a physical freak of nature and that's enough for him to dominate.

Posted by: atruesportsjunkie | January 4, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

LeTravel finally got called on that mess he pulls every game. (BTW the name LeTravel came from someone on my favorite Wiz message board.) He continues to show no class with his non stop complaining of every call against him. He has always been allowed to take one more step than everyone else. And that disgusting finger nail eating habit he has sickens me. Good job Wiz eventhough Taps tried to give the game away in the 4th by playing small ball.

Posted by: dhbond | January 4, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Please stop calling him, "LeTravel." That is disrespectful. He prefers to be called, "LeCrabdribble."

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 4, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

WTF is a crab dribble? Is he just making up words? He picked up his dribble and took three steps - the hesitation happened before that. Nevertheless, the Wiz need to protect the damn hoop and the weakside defender should help out and block the shot.

Posted by: magnetic54 | January 4, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the Wizards actually won this game after it looked like they were trying to blow it in the 4th quarter.

I was at the game, but I have now idea if the call was good or not because a referee calling travelling on LeBron made my brain a splode.

There were 5 travelling calls in the game by my count. That's got to be an NBA record high.

Posted by: MaxWass | January 4, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Lebron is just being a crybaby as the sign says

I want to know how much the NBA is going to fine that ref for calling traveling on on lebron

Posted by: hammersam | January 4, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

You know, Lebron has skills and I am not hating on him, but, I am like Stevenson on this one, I just don't like that dude. He is one arrogant butt hole. Sorry, but if he is as skilled as they say he is, why then does he feel that he above being called for fouls. Watch the Cavs play and see how many fouls are called against Lebron. He flat out runs over dudes and the other players are always called with a blocking foul. He is hardly ever called for charging and whe he was called for charging yesteday, he grabs his eyes like someone had poked him. What a frigging joke. I am glad the Wiz finally beat them but upset with the Wiz because of their end of the fourth quarter breakdowns that occur practically EVERY game against EVERY team. It should not have been that close.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 5, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

LeTravel should shut up and play basketball. If he paid less attention to the calls he's getting or not getting, he might actually be entertaining to watch. Instead he seems like a petulant child. It's not "being competitive" when you whine about every call against you -- it's being a whiny crybaby.

Posted by: jjhare | January 5, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Is he retarded? How can he possibly claim to know what a travel is after watching the replay 10 times and saying it's not a travel????? It's clear as day! He took 3 full steps!!! I love how he is confirming that this is his signature move, and we know it's a travel. Ha! He has to be retarded.

Posted by: tkelly29 | January 5, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Lebron is a great, great player. And it's hard not to like him when he's just one of the guys winning while winning the US a gold medal or when he's not taking himself too seriously (doing the Kid n' PLay in an insurance ad or doing some hilarious self-mockery on SNL).

But the NBA brings out the preening schmo in him -- The posing after his 3 pointer with the and 1. The whining after every call, etc.

But we Wiz fans have been given a huge gift. His attempted public justification of this so called "crab dribble," is going to blow up larger than any of Deshawn's "overrated" smack did last season. Refs are going to have no choice but make the call that the courageous official (name?) made yesterday, now that such a bright light will shine on Lebron and his traveling.

Crab dribble!

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 5, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

After Lebron picked up his dribble, he jumped with both feet that's two steps - then took another step.

Sorry Lebron, three steps is called traveling.

Posted by: rw-c | January 5, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

What NBA fanbase would know the crab dribble better than Washington's, what with our Chesapeake Bay contingent? If we don't think it's a crab dribble, it clearly is a travel.

Sorry, LeBaby - no Old Bay for you!

Posted by: Lindemann777 | January 5, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I saw at least 3 or 4 non-calls committed by LeBomb, including him basically "B!tch-Slapping" Dominic McGuire in the face after a rebound but the officials will never call those. However, the officials will gladly call a "touch" foul if you just breath on LeDumb, just like that lousy call against Butler on a 3 pointer by LeCrabb. Speaking of Crab Dribbling, that is one of my patented move on the playground! There, I would stop dribbling completely at half court, hop to either side once and then take two gigantic steps towards the rim. You see, a hop is not a step when you do it in slow motion...yeah... right!!!! I get called on travel every time too on the playground!

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 5, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who starts a drive from around the 3-point line, evades two defenders and attempts a Lay-up is either driving a dune buggy or traveled. I'm glad a referee finally had the guts to make the correct call. Unlike the last time the Wizards played the Cavs, correct calls were made in the forth quarter. The NBA's golden child is shown to be a crybaby. The Wiz did not publicly say that the ref's made bad calls, only "tough calls" last game.

On another note, why don't the Wiz fire their new coach Tabscott, he stinks. The Cavs coach got thrown out of a game for his team over 'bad' calls. Tabscott, on the other hand is quoted saying, "I don't make enough to talk about the officials." He puts the wrong people on the court together and his only motivation for coaching is to keep his job. Polin, please get a real coach. Plenty of coaches are available .

Posted by: swoop_0017 | January 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Just combine the two names: LeCrabDribble (and when he whines, it's LeCrabDrivel).

As for Coach Brown, he said...
"What do you mean drama?" Brown asked. "I'm sorry, I didn't think there was any drama tonight."

That's right. To him, this was a horror show. His golden ticket actually got called for violations according to the rules of the game. The post-game was pure comedy.

Posted by: grounder | January 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Lebron James called for a travel, against the Wizards?... "No not possible!"


Posted by: jansjay | January 5, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Cavs > Wizards

How many series have the Wizards won from the Cavs? Anybody?..........Thought so.

When it counts, the Loozards show their true form.

Posted by: popopo | January 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh poop poop or what ever your name is, carry that crap to the Cavalier forum, cause we really don't give a damn what you have to say. The bottom line is we won last night. That is all that matter and Sir Walk a lot finally got called out! So quit your whining on our post.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I remember when MJ was with Chicago and used to take 4 steps when he would dunk. Since then, it seems like superstars can get away with so much more than the average bear.

Posted by: charley42 | January 5, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The best part of all of this is that LeBron actually did NOT travel on this play (watch it in slow mo, trust me he did not take more than 2 steps after he picked up his dribble). The reason this is so great is because of all the times he actually did travel and didn't get called for it--it's poetic justice.

I loved how on sportscenter, they showed the 4 step travel he took against us in the 06 playoffs that clinched game 3 (which we should have won, going up 2-1 in the series). That was the worst travel in recent NBA history that didn't get called. Yesterday, in some ways, made up for that. Though nothing can ever fully make up for it bc it probably cost us the series and, as Caron said, with everyone healthy that year who knows what would have happened in the week Eastern conference.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 5, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

If you jumpstop, you can take 2 steps afterward. Phil Chenier made it pretty clear. i wonder why Wiz players/fans continue to talk smack to the guy who crushes you every year. Whats the point??

Posted by: Giantsfan1 | January 5, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Look this is the only city where LBJ doesn't get respect. How can you not respect a player that goes out there and wins while staying out of trouble off the court. How can DeShawn Stevenson say a word when the dude can't make a shot...he is so off right know that they declared him "injured" while they figure out what to do with him. LBJ will be winning rings when that guy is bagin' groceries at the Harris Teeter on Penn. Ave. How can you boo a player who has the potential to be one of the best of all time when his career is over. How can you call him overrated when he carries a team on his back and here in DC we've got the most expensive walking injury in the game !COUGH! Gilbert.....agent zero is an ironic nick-name these days.

I would also like to point out the the Knicks soundly beat the Celtics yesterday without a late game collapse and I don't think anyone is going nuts over that, we know which team is playing for a ring this spring. Its a long season guys, you can't play with great intensity every night. Sometimes good teams lose to crapy ones; but that won't change the fact that the Cavs have the second best record in the NBA while the Wiz have just about the worst. The Wiz won't be in the Playoffs, they'll likely finish last in the division, and they'll be watching LBJ crab steping his way deep into the playoffs.

So I think the local fans should grow up and simmer-down and stop proving they are a second tier team by getting excited by one regular season win that will prove to be meaningless in a terrible season

Posted by: ThaddeusMaximus | January 5, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I like the way you guys call Lebron "LeTravel" or "Cry-baby" I guess he can travel and cry his way to the playoffs this year. Something Deshawn aka SOulja Boy can guarantee. The only players that are respectable on the Wizards team are Caron and Jamison.

GO CAVS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: den231 | January 5, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Lebaby, finally didn't get a call in his favor, and now suddenly it is imperative that the league front office understand his "signature move?" The NBA understood Iverson's cross over so well that they outlawed it, but in Iverson's case he didn't complain he simply worked on other aspects of his game. Lebaby got called for a travel, something that he does every time he exercises his "signature move," and he should shut up and work on improving aspects of his game that don't violate the rules. As for Cav's fans talking smack, are you all going to become Knick fans in 2010? Let me know so I can be ready for more bandwagon

Posted by: robmo35 | January 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse


First of all, the only thing the cavs were known for before Lebron came was getting beat by the Bulls all the time and their ugly uniforms. Remember Michael Jordan? And other than that gold medal what has he won? What will you cavs fans do when he becomes a free agent and wants to get out of pathetic cleveland? I guess you will have to become Knicks fans. Remember what you were before you got Lebron. A lottery team, thats how you got him. In less than two years you will be that again when he leaves. Enjoy it while it last. Lets hope he brings pathetic cleveland fans a ring besides the ring in the bathtubs of your filthy trifling bathrooms before he goes to NY. No championships in that town since sports was invented. LOL.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 5, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse


Were you one of those giants fans who were trying to sell your week 17 tickets on ebay last year against the Patriots because you had no faith in the giants even being competitive yet you are a proud giants fan now? Giants fans are fair weather fans who only like the giants after they have success. When they are not winning the division or a superbowl you call them bums. I have no respect for the opinion of a giants fans because I know they are really cowboys fans who live on the east coast and only root for the giants after the fact.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 5, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Giantsfan1: "If you jumpstop, you can take 2 steps afterward."

I don't think so.

if you jump stop and both feet land at the same time, you can then choose your pivot foot.

If you jump stop and both feet land at different times, the one that lands first is your pivot foot.

in both cases, you can't take two steps after a jump stop. either way, you'd be picking up your pivot foot; which is A TRAVEL.

Posted by: kmkraft | January 5, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse


Look, let the fans have fun, its a bad year for the wizards and if we want to pick on Lebron when we beat cleveland let us have that. Its all in good fun against a rival opponent. We all know he is a great player, just like the knicks knew MJ was but that did not stop them from heckling him. Just do your job. Do you see any of us trying to spoil your fun? No one is coming down to the bathroom at union station kicking pricks out of your mouth are they? You are entitled to do that, its your mouth, have your good time and let us have ours messing with LJ. Damm!!

Posted by: ged0386 | January 5, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

what does being multilingual have to do with crustaceans?

just because he travels a lot does not mean he's knows other languages.

the only thing lecrabdribble proved in that quote was that he's not even fluent in english.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | January 5, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

This is a great blog entry! Keep up the gopd work DC Sports Bog.

Posted by: bp_cooke1 | January 5, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The NBA has let people travel for so long that people don't even know the rule anymore. (And if my following analysis is wrong, I'm guilty too lol )

Looking at the replay, LeBron CLEARLY is holding the ball with two hands with his left foot on the ground.... the he clearly takes a step with right before taking another step with his left to launch himself into the air.

Posted by: AJohn1 | January 6, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Thadeus, what is up with you Cleveland folk that think everybody outside of your town should show Lebron respect like he is owed something. Dude is only 24 and is still somewhat young in the league. No one discounts how good he is but we don't have to do a damn thing in this city but suppourt OUR team. If you don't like reading our comments then go to the Cleveland blog and you read all the wonderful accolades about Lebron. Here he is King Crybaby and Sir Walk A Lot. Go Wiz!

Posted by: ivyleague | January 6, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I forget, how many years in a row has LeBron eliminated the Wizards from the playoffs? All I know is that it's more years than the steps he takes in a crab dribble.

Posted by: GD1975 | January 6, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

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